Practical Photoshop

Practical Photoshop February 2020

Practical Photoshop is the world’s premier Photoshop magazine, a monthly guide to the best Photoshop techniques, tips and tricks. Inside each issue you’ll find an array of inspirational tutorials and accompanying video lessons that will help you master Adobe’s collection of industry standard photo-editing software. What’s more, there’s a selection of amazing images from the world’s best Photoshop creatives, free downloadable content, and a beginner’s guide to the basics. If you love photography and you want to learn more about digital imaging, then Practical Photoshop will help you to unleash your creative potential.

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1 min.
create cutout scenes

Why not reduce a scene to a series of color blocks? This works best with layered landscapes, where the composition includes an easily definable foreground, midground, background and sky that can all be separated from one another… WATCH THE VIDEO http://bit.ly/2rdkrdc 01 SELECT THE FOREGROUND Open an image (we used a free image from pixabay.com; search for 833326), then go to Select > Select And Mask. Grab the Quick Selection Tool from the toolbar and paint over the foreground to select it, then increase the Radius as shown to pick out the fine details. Set Output: Selection and click OK to confirm. 02 FILL THE SELECTION Go to the Layers Panel (Window > Layers) then click the New Layer icon. Click within the foreground to choose a color; we used #13004d here. Press Alt+Backspace to…

1 min.
change the focus

The standard approach to landscape photography is to keep as much of the scene in focus as possible – but you can create an interesting look by altering the depth of field, for a shallow-focus effect. Open an image (we used pixabay.com image 4613926). Duplicate the Background layer. Hide the top layer, right-click the Background layer and choose Convert to Smart Object, then go to Filter> Blur Gallery> Field Blur. Plot three points as shown to create a sharp area in the middle, with a softer area above and below. Reveal the top layer, select the subject and click the Add Mask icon. Use the Clone Tool to tidy up.…

1 min.
get creative with paints

The angular lines, punchy contrast and strong shapes of this urban landscape work well, but they’re also a ripe subject for a creative treatment. To achieve an effect like this, we can get stuck in with Photoshop’s powerful Brush Tool and layer blending controls. These two features are great fun, and you’ll often be surprised and delighted by the results. WATCH THE VIDEO http://bit.ly/2R8emby 01 PAINT AND BLEND After converting the image to black and white, make a new layer set to the Color Dodge Blending Mode, then grab the Brush Tool and paint colors to build up a painterly look. Here we’ve added colored streaks, following the lines of the buildings and bridge. (Holding Shift while clicking between two points lets you paint a straight line.) 02 COMBINE WITH IMAGES You can find lots…

1 min.
make color-boosting blends

Here’s a quick tip to add a color wash over a landscape. Open an image (we used pixabay.com image 1993645), then go to the Layers Panel and make a new layer. Grab the Gradient Tool then choose a warm blend of colors. (We used the Violet/Orange preset here.) Set the gradient style to Linear, then drag a diagonal grad across the frame. Go to the Layers Panel and change the Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay or Soft Light. Adjust the layer Opacity to control the strength of the effect. If you like, you can go on to blend more colors. Here we’ve darkened the sky slightly by painting orange on a second layer set to Multiply.…

2 min.
create unearthly objects

This is a quirky effect to try on empty scenes like the desert here. Here we’ve used the 3D tools in Photoshop to create a host of otherworldly floating spheres. You can quickly add simple 3D forms to give the landscape a surreal look, inspired by artist like Salvador Dali. If you haven’t used Photoshop’s 3D tools before, this technique is a gentle introduction to some of their key features, which you can take into other projects… WATCH THE VIDEO http://bit.ly/36c6grr 01 MAKE A 3D SPHERE Open the image (we used a free pixabay.com image; search for 1170031) then make a new layer. Go to 3D > New Mesh From Layer > Mesh Preset > Sphere. Next, go to 3D > Move Object To Ground Plane. Use the axis control to move the…

1 min.
bordered black-and-whites

WATCH THE VIDEO http://bit.ly/2niq5pf A simple black border with a white keyline can give your landscape a classy finish, especially combined with a quick and easy black-and-white treatment. Go to Image > Canvas Size, check Relative, set Canvas Extension Color: White, then set Width and Height Units to Pixels. Choose a small pixel value for your white keyline; the right figure depends on your image resolution. 30px works for us here. Click OK then go back to Image > Canvas Size, set the color to Black and choose a high value for Width and Height – 300px works here. Go to Filter >Camera Raw Filter, then click the Profile Browser to choose a B&W preset.…